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Perhaps my need isn’t driving today.

Published June 20, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

At my age, practically fifty, if nine days equals practically, many a cliche has been lobbed my way.  As an editor and sometimes content re-writer of things, I am familiar with the slings and errors of other peoples words. (See what I did there?)  Right now I trying to focus my spinning brain. There is a lot going on and I am trying not to be precious with my words.  I have five more days of summer school to teach and the I will be unemployed. I’m not dead sure what I’m going to do, so I am trying to distract myself.

One of the things I do to distract myself, especially if I am supposed to be doing something else, like writing and editing articles, so I can keep what paltry ducats I do have coming in, or perhaps organizing my living room and for God’s-sake-getting- all-of-the-stuff-out-of-my car-because- Actor Boy and BatBeard are both coming in next week is watch documentaries. Ok, so I mostly scroll through the titles and descriptions of documentaries and decide that watching real life is just going to make me rage, and everyone keeps telling me to calm down and maybe I should consider decaf and would I just try meditating, and everyone knows how I feel about that, what with the whole, Id, Ego and SuperEgo chatting at me and how my neurologist never answered my question about my sanity, so I just stick to reading the description and then take a gander at the movies new, old and those which people keep telling me I NEED to see. (For the record, all I really need to do is drink water, feed the cats and stay mostly sentient for the next several days. )

So on that topic, BatBeard highly recommended that I watch A Star is Born. He also said, “I know you don’t like Bradley Cooper.” I don’ t NOT like Bradley Cooper. I’m just very confused at how he is always lurking somewhere in my To Watch List.

I’m not sure how I feel about seeing a Star is Born. In my personal opinion, I think there is too much protesting from Camp Gaga and Camp Cooper for the chemistry thing to be just rumor. And what makes me flurb about that is that even the thinnest sheen of lying and infidelity, but especially the lying and I didn’t suddenly go blind and what makes some of us good directors is that we can see chemistry and you aren’t fooling us with that costume and it’s not just us who notice and the “oh we’re just friends”.

Anyway, on the documentary list, there is one that the documentarian said “they were driven by a need”. I’m not dead sure where my need is driving to, but probably Target because I’m low on cat food.

I should get right on that.

Before I get distracted

Not Bradley Cooper Again!

Published June 7, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

The school year has ended and while the madness never truly ends, it has at least, slowed down. I have today off and I’m supposed to be cleaning and writing and otherwise being productive, but, instead I am discovering new (to me) movies and shows, because, as you know that teaching thing has really been getting in the way of my leisure activities.

I have been watching hidden gems on both the Hulu and the Amazon Prime.

Yesterday I watched “Swearing Allegiance” this gem is a renamed, but not at all polished Made for TV movie about the Texas Cadet Murders. No cadets were murdered. On the contrary, David Graham a cadet at the Air Force Academy and Diane Zamora, a cadet and the Naval Academy, murdered Adrianne Jones. But no one every mentions that part. The movie, while in and of itself hamfisted and does no justice to Dee Wallace Stone’s talents and does in fact make Holly Marie Combs look horse nostrilled and shrill, is mostly inaccurate. It also leaves out the part where the Jones family insisted on dropping the death penalty so that the Grahams and Zamoras wouldn’t have to grieve the death of a child. The movie insinuates that Adrianne had sex with David thus prompting the rage of Diane who insisted Lady Macbeth-like, that the only way to win this situation was murder.  They also left out the facts as stated by Graham post trial that he “made up” the brief affair with Jones.

So a child was murdered by two other children over a complete lie.

The other movie I watched was quickly cobbled together simulated reality movie about bullies.  This is what happens when I misplace the remote.

So today, I sat down to work on some articles. I am keeping up with my free lance gig because if someone doesn’t force me to write, I apparently just won’t do it. I absolutely can not work without background noise and I can usually work quite efficiently with the TV on. Today, my heart and mind just weren’t committed to churning  out articles on psychic healing, so I cruised around on the  Amazon Prime app and wandered in to a movie called Case 39. I had never heard of it before and it stars Renee Zellweger who didn’t look too bony in the trailer, so I gave it a look. It is about a social worker who, like many of us who work with children, gets too invested in the life of a client and winds up being terrorized by a child who is not at all what she seems. (I don’t want to spoil it for you.) Imagine my shock and amazement when Bradley Cooper popped in. I think he  plays a psychiatrist. It does not end well for him.

I don’t mean to verbally trounce Cooper, especially since the Buzz feed tells me that he and his lady love, Irina Shayk have split. Judging from the amount of hotness Shayk shows in most pictures, she will be just fine. (Seriously, the pic of her the gold dress, if my boobs looked that good I would just whip them out at the deli counter. well, I still want to teach on this planet, so probably not.)

Anyway, it just seems like once I settle in to a good, suspense filled movie, Bradley Cooper rears his adorably shaggy head and then goofs up the place. I say this from a place of respect and curiosity.

BatBeard and Actor Boy are also goofy and shaggy and I sure would like to see them pop up on the Amazon Prime or the Hulu or the Netflix.

Maybe if I got a gold dress

What? I know.

Published June 2, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I understand Kit Harrington.  No, I’m not a hot young actor with limitless possibilities, but I am someone whose job has ended and is finding themselves at a loss to the point of despair.

A few weeks ago, I was informed that there was not a place for me at the school I was hoping to make my home until retirement.  To be honest, I feel as if I have failed at my mission.

I know I’m a good teacher. I know that I tried my best. And right know, in this moment, I know that I have failed.  I have a sense of grief and loss.

So, now I am rapidly applying for new jobs and trying to find a new place and new students.

I am concerned about money.  I have no idea when my last paycheck will be coming. I am teaching summer school, but that is certainly not going to see  me through the whole summer. I’m hoping I can land somewhere and have a new contract before August so it will be only the summer I have to get through.

I will be fifty in just a few weeks and while I am delighted that Actor Boy and BatBeard will both be here to celebrate. I am currently having that mid-life crisis thinking, that, to be honest, I should have had 15 years ago, but I have been under the delusion that I am still in my late twenties, even though the rings around my eyes clearly tell a different story.

I am afraid that I am running out of the energy to start over again.

This past school year, I would comment to the baby teacher that I did a daily” Is the republic crumbling?” check.

Short answer yes, and.. . .

Long answer no, but . . . .

I am fortunate that I have people in my life with whom I can have intelligent conversations. Today’s topic: what the current changes in the world really mean.

I have quoted the TV series, “The Handmaid’s Tale”. In the first episode Offred says, “It didn’t happen overnight.”

So now that current political climate is wagging the dog over women’s rights.

I think that the abortion bans slowly creeping across the country are a way to distract from the fact that it’s not about abortions. It’s about the reductions of women’s rights and it’s not going to be recognized until it’s far too late.

It’s almost as terrifying as having to trudge back to square one. Because it is the same. It’s depressing and it is like having your whole life pushed back to default because it’s like watching winter come and arrive and leave you empty handed and alone.

And it didn’t happen overnight.

Having some fun now

Published April 28, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I really would like to have a day without weirdness. I just don’t think I’m wired that way. (Interesting how wired is an anagram of weird.) Today was the farewell performance of the one act that I have been working on with my hearty band of sixth graders. Due to the generosity of a friend from college, who is currently teaching at my Alma Mater, we were able to perform on a real stage with real lights and also some real loud noise coming from the construction crew working on the front of the building. (Hey, the course of, well, anything never did/does run smooth(ly).

I am having a rough night. I have them from time to time, usually when I am stressed and have been overstimulated through a day long workshop combined with a lack of quality nutrition,unless you could a protein drink, a skinny latte, two diet cokes a slice of cheese pizza and a bowl of popcorn quality nutrition. So that may be why I’m having such a weird night. I’m having body aches and I’m too tired and pent up to sleep. I’m having feelings and thoughts.

I feel guilty because I am spending my day tomorrow writing articles and prepping for a class (same topic, new kids.) that will take four days to cover. Next week will be a whirlwind of angst and nerves, not just because I have to teach an entire chapter of Math next month so that their teacher for the next year won’t be gunny sacked by having too much catch up work. Why the guilt? Because I was with my theatre kids all day today, I didn’t have a chance to do any of my freelance for work or even my lesson plans, I can’t help my mother out tomorrow by sitting with my grandmother.

I feel guilty because I am so desperately in love with a man I can’t see (He’s not on another plane of existence, just in Myrtle Beach. I miss him terribly ever single day. It’s getting to be the time of year whereI remember the day I lost my best good friend Steve, He Died on May 14, 2010 at 2:44 pm. So I’m feeling deep sadness.

I am also feeling stress because I have to be teaching a Math component or a reading and writing component every single minute my kids are in the classroom.

I am also feeling pain because now that I am nigh on to 50 (two months nigh) There is a slow ache in most of my bones. It’s tension inducing. The only person who I can have this conversation with is long ago asleep and her life is packed with enough tension without me providing the glittery sprinkles and nonpareils to fancy it up.

I should probably get to sleep and see what happens . I once had a dream that I gave Abe Vigoda a bag of frozen chicken.

It’s a SentiMental Health Journey

Published April 3, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

It is now seven weeks before the end of school. We have a novel to finish, reports and dioramas to be created, a big combination of Science and Social Studies to work on a Big Question.

The Big Question is a combo of Classical Eduction and Socratic Method Lite.

In Social Studies the question is What effect is humanity having on our environment?

We have gone through several articles from the social studies angels. And we are following the TEKS for Science where we have learned about Biomes and Habitats.

We have just covered plant and animal adaptations. Next we will take a rock, observe it, take notes, then paint the rock to give it personality and an adaptation. Next we will take the rock out to a habitat in the school yard. Each day we will go and observe. Then we will do some creative writing, surmising what the rock is thinking as they go through the day in their habitat. When we’re not talking to rocks, we will be learning the scenic of the habitat changing. A few weeks ago they did some biome research. They also drew butterflies that would go in that habit. I want them to plan what they would would have to do to make their rock suitable for their biome. Ultimately, they will compile the notes and turn it into a picture book. ( I love my MacBook.)

I had a lot of things I wanted to say, but as my plan of self care requires me to go to bed early and the Ambien just kicked in.

I promise I’m not having a breakdown. Meltdown, maybe.

?

Published March 31, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

What would happen if someone went crazy and no one wrote it down?

I think it might look like a lava lamp eating a sandwich.

And we’re back.

Sorry, Jewel, ask Bradley how I feel

Published March 31, 2019 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

This time last year I was filled with just a smidge more optimism than I am this year. I was so optimistic I began to learn the song “Hands” by Jewel. I downloaded her version, the bluegrass version and the karaoke version.

A year later it shuffled through my play list and the lyric “we’re all ok” came out. I was in my car on my Saturday errands and I said, “I’m not ok, Bradley Cooper!”, harkening back to the day I ruined Midnight Meat Train for BatBeard. (I personally think that Bradley did a good job of that himself, but what do I know?)

There are certain things that are compromising my optimism. I’m exhausted. I spent all last week catching and keeping up with teaching and feeding myself and two cats. I think I have a cold and am praying it’s not the flu because I have to give a math test and a spelling test this week and drag my cherubs through the stages of their writing samples for their files. I also have to get them started on a combination science and social studies project that addresses the big question (that’s a whole blog of its own). The reason I was behind was that I spent the week after Spring Break trying to staunch my tears from missing BatBeard. I got spend four days with him and like Actor Boy says, it doesn’t matter how long the visit is, it’s never long enough. Seeing BatBeard only reminded me how crazy in love with him I am and that he is lucky enough to have a job where he gets to do what makes him happiest, acting. It is just unfortunate that he has to do it so far away from me.

So while tamping all of that down, I was rehearsing my theatre club kids for their first competition. There is a whole lot of detail that I will toss in to another blog. Suffice it to say that I was running on a stream of coffee and not so fantastic leftovers. I think I ate a cold steak finger as I was running from copier to copier to get everything ready.

After all of that, I did find three things that gave me a hint of optimism:

I have a student who is full of questions. Sometimes he’s a pain, but most times they are very good, thought provoking questions. He is the child of survivors of the Rwandan Genocide. He was asking me about how the political environment is affecting racism. (See, I told you they were good questions.) He seemed truly dismayed that he could be judged on the color of his skin. I explained to him that because he has dark skin some may equate him with people of color who have had unfortunate circumstances causing them to commit crimes and possibly felonies. This is because he is African and black he may be misjudged even though his parents would throttle him if he even thought about doing something criminal. It gives me hope that a child who has very few living relatives still finds the concept of racism baffling.

The other thing giving me hope is something I saw on my way back from the errands. Four small boys, probably 8 and 9 years old were walking on the side of the road eating ice cream cones. It was simple thing to do on a Saturday afternoon and it made me happy that, at least for today, it’s safe for them to do this.

And the other. Today a short story I wrote went up for sale on Kindle. I went to see the listing so I entered my name., Lynda Rodriguez into the Amazon search bar. A whole list of things came up. Eight of them were things I have written. Four short stories, two novellas, one play that is available as an audio book. So here I have been feeling that I am not capable of writing a good story. I have written eight.

So, right now, Jewel, I’m Ok. Be sure to tell Bradley Cooper.